The sector’s most controversial project successfully develops blockchain technology that is used by a number of institutional partners, including the Bank of America (BoA). The second-largest American bank works closely with the company since 2016 and a Ripple representative claims that they have worked on a pilot project together.
During a seminar last year held by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ripple marked the BoA as a customer in one of their presentations. However, the company, later on, refused to confirm the situation and the BoA has not commented on their customer status either.
Nevertheless, it is confirmed that the Bank of America is an active member of Ripple’s Global Payment Steering Group, in which they advise on rules and standards for the project’s network of financial institutions who adopt Ripple products, Ripplenet. Given the recent news that the two entities held a pilot project together, it is certain that the BoA is more than just an advisor.
Their significant activity in the sector contradicts the stance that the bank’s chief technology officer Cathy Bessant recently present. She stated that the bank is bearish on blockchain technology and that the only reason why they have the largest portfolio of blockchain patents in the banking sector is the need to swiftly implement the disruptive technology if we reach global mass-scale adoption.
Furthermore, a job opening posted by the bank at the start of October shows that the institution is looking for a Treasury Product Manager. The description reads: ‘This role leads the product management team for the Ripple Project (..) The incumbent will be responsible for driving product strategy and growth and overseeing the development of new initiatives that result in an innovative and highly-competitive product offering.’
Ripple’s 2018 presentation revealed a number of reputable partners
During the December 2018 seminar held by the IMF in Samoa, concerning fintech and financial inclusion in the Pacific Islands, the head of government and regulatory affairs for the Asia-Pacific region at Ripple revealed a number of reputable partners in the company’s presentation.
In a slide titled ‘A Snapshot of Our Customers’, Saga Sarbhai revealed the logo of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is one of the BoA’s investment banks. Aside from the BoA, there were logos from 15 more financial institutions. The presentation was released on the IMF’s official website and gained high traction on social media. Later on, the IMF confirmed that the document was presented by an official Ripple executive.
The presentation in question concerned the development of Ripple’s xCurrent product, which does not implement the company’s XRP cryptocurrency. Aside from the Bank of America, other financial giants such as Santander, American Express, and PNC were shown at the slide. As for XRP, the controversial cryptocurrency will be adopted in ripple’s xRapid product.